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About Druid

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    Star Forming

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  1. I mostly use my 4" refractor / giro-type mount. It struggles a bit with my murky urban sky, but has the advantage of being really nice to set up and use. The C11 / AZEQ6 gets an outing when I'm confident that the evening will repay the hassle of setting up. I'm pretty sure I could find a use for a fast-ish 8-12" Newt, as a dob for easy setup or on the AZEQ6 for things my refractor is too small to pull out of the orangeness.
  2. Hi and welcome. Here's an old article by John Dobson that mentions your part of the world. http://quanta-gaia.org/dobson/DeathValleyDeadStars.html
  3. How do people rate the various types of dobs vs catadioptrics and/or refractors on an alt-az like a Giro, SkyTee or Sabre? Anyone got both to compare? I'm thinking the ability to observe comfortably near zenith is a big plus, especially in urban conditions?
  4. Heh. I've been fancying a Berlebach too. They look like they're faster to set up than the eq5 legs I use with my alt-az mount and much more stable I bet. I agree with you about having a plan in mind being really important. I'd also say that one of the key learning things if you're going in that direction is figuring out what a realistic plan is going to be. Otherwise you're going to get frustrated trying to e.g. pull M101 out of a skyful of orange muck with a 4" scope.
  5. Mine is a fast 4" apo. refractor on a manual alt az mount. I do get frustrated with the limited light grasp of the refractor and its not terribly comfortable anywhere near zenith, so I could see that e.g. an 8" f6 dob might have a lot going for it too. For those lucky enough to have a permanent set-up it might be a cosy dome with a good-sized SCT on an EQ mount (I'm thinking that might be in my future) or perhaps a largish dob in a run-off shed. I had a major breakthrough in the freedom from hassle and rewarding experience stakes when I followed Qualia's advice and started learning to combine: binoculars, a red-dot finder, a RACI finder and some decent star maps. For me this is becoming much more accessible and rewarding than getting my EQ/SCT rig set-up and relying on that to find stuff for me.
  6. It's becoming increasingly clear to me that for the visual observer, especially one with other claims on their time, maximising comfort and minimising hassle is the key to rewarding astronomy experiences. So I thought it might be smart to start a thread where we can share what we've learned What's your most comfortable, hassle-free and rewarding visual observing set-up? What are the little tricks that you use along with the equipment to make it so?
  7. I've got to say I'm a bit puzzled by this camera. Only reason I can see for wanting one, given that they're don't seem particularly useful for conventional photography, is if you want to use Nikon lenses for astrophotography. I guess if you already have one of these? http://mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkoresources/telephotos/300mmedif20/index.htm
  8. Just to add. I basically asked to speak to someone about the imaging qualities of the scope. Short pause. 'Hi this is Al Nagler, how can I help?' Got to admire that approach. Got a technical question? Talk to the guy who designed the scope.
  9. Yeah, that's pretty much what Al Nagler said when I talked to him.
  10. A couple more specific questions for people who have them if I may? Do you need a Paracorr or similar with the 10" f4.8 version? Roughly what is the eyepiece height from the two 10" dob options, f4.8 and f6.3? Can you feasibly buy a Losmandy dovetail and stick it on an Az-Eq6 with the hope of imaging? Would being in an observatory of some kind make the difference to the GEM imaging scenario?
  11. That map is from Henbest and Couper "Guide to the Galaxy" which I highly recommend if you like that sort of stuff. The following site is also very good: http://galaxymap.org/drupal/ I find knowing where we are in relation to what I'm seeing up there fascinating too. It's quite an important part of my relationship with the universe
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